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    Do you have an idea? If so, join The LION Pride!

    Do you have an idea? If so, join The LION Pride!

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Hyatt | A screenshot of the LION Pride Program interface. In May 2018, the 363d Intelligence,...... read more read more

    JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, VA, UNITED STATES

    02.22.2022

    Story by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Hyatt 

    363rd ISR Wing

    In May 2018, the 363d Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing introduced its “Launching Ideas and Opportunities Now” (LION) Board to solicit ideas from any Wing member to improve operations, their unit or the Air Force. After a hiatus due to COVID-19, the program is back, stronger than ever as the Wing Commander-approved “The LION Pride.”

    “CSAF has challenged us to accelerate change. I think the best way to do that is take ideas from the bottom-up, from the Airmen on the ops floor, in the Aircraft, or in the back-shop and listen to what challenges they have, and how they would fix them,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Eric Mack, 363d Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing commander. “Our Airmen are our SMEs and we need them to drive the innovation process.”

    According to the 363 ISRW Director of Plans and Programs, Frank Pazdernik, the LION Pride encourages Airmen to challenge the status quo, question legacy processes and suggest innovative solutions to improve the way we do business. The program is aimed at aiding Airmen’s innovative spirit by giving their ideas the leadership support and oversight necessary to achieve maximum impact.

    “I think we get stove piped when we talk about innovation,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason Funkhauser, 363 ISRW Command Chief. “We focus on an App or a software solution. Innovation is more than just an App or a script to solve an IT based problem. It’s about improving workflows by eliminating redundant or needless steps that don’t add value to the final product, it’s about identifying alternate solutions that eliminate roadblocks, and it’s about adding capabilities that improve operations or quality of life for our Airmen.”

    The LION Pride aims to connect idea owners to Principal Decision Makers and issue champions within the Wing to drive positive change.

    “What we are trying to do is bridge the gap from idea to action,” said Scott Frazier, 363 ISRW Senior Plans and Programs Analyst and The LION Pride Lead Facilitator. “Big Air Force has provided wing commanders resources to help foster innovation and growth at the lowest level possible. At the 363d ISR Wing, this happens by way of The LION Pride.”

    Frazier noted that COVID-19 had slowed the program’s momentum, and though good things were happening, the program needed a refresh. Knowledge of the program waned with attrition and turnover and the submissions became geared heavily toward tech-based solutions and mission issues, drifting away from quality of life and process improvement opportunities.

    “Have you ever thought ‘This would be so much easier if …?’” said Frazier. “The LION Pride is one of the most immediate and direct ways for Airmen to produce change. The process is easy and unbiased. Anyone with any idea can log in and submit and know they will have a chance to have their ideas heard.”

    “I’ve always been wary of trying to formalize innovation, but in this case the team has done a great job of creating a system that honestly accepts new ideas, but is more than just ‘innovation’ theater‘,” said U.S. Air Force Colonel John Thorne, 363 ISRW vice commander.

    So how do you submit an idea?

    First, follow the link: https://confluence.epms.af.mil/display/LD/LION+PRIDE+Home and follow the step-by-step instructions to access The LION Pride. There’s three easy steps.

    According to Frazier, step one is “read the instructions”. Step two is to sign up for an account and the last step is to click on the icon (“Click Here to Enter your Ideas!”) to input your information and idea. The program is hosted on the Wing’s NIPR Jira page, so if you have a NIPR JIRA account already, you will be good to go. Unfortunately, SIPR accounts don’t transfer; so users will need to register on NIPR.

    “After the idea been submitted, a representative will contact you for further discussion. As the idea works its way through the process, you will be provided feedback all along the way.”

    Since its inception, the program has funded over $600,000 in Airman-inspired projects.

    Some of the program’s first successes included innovation crowdsourcing, Wing-wide data back-up program, a classified research optimization search engine and post-partum fitness support.

    “No idea is too big or too small,” said Frazier. “Even though not all ideas may be approved for direct funding through The Pride, if it has merit, we will find a way.”

    Frazier further explained, “Sometimes the timing is just not right or maybe the idea has ramifications beyond our wing. Either way, we have ways to further the idea, outside the wing and beyond, so know we will stay on it.”

    “We’ve heard it and said it time and time again … our Airmen are our strongest assets, and it’s because of your innovative and creative thoughts, and your commitment and devotion to the mission,” said Funkhauser. “If you have an idea we want to hear about it and provide you the resources and avenues to accelerate change.”

    The LION Pride is currently live and ready to accept ideas.

    “I really encourage Airmen to take advantage of this opportunity to advocate for innovation,” Mack said. “The challenges we face in adapting to future operational environments against near peer threats are steep. We need to maximize our operational effectiveness by lowering the threshold for Airmen to communicate their novel solutions to the problems they face every day. LION Pride is an important way for Airmen’s voices to be heard.”

    For more information on The Pride or for help with submitting an idea visit https://confluence.epms.af.mil/display/LD/LION+PRIDE+Home or call Wing XP at DSN 575-0507.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.22.2022
    Date Posted: 02.22.2022 08:13
    Story ID: 415024
    Location: JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, VA, US

    Web Views: 102
    Downloads: 1

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